We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3
cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue
cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these
operations. What number do you end on?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes.
If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you
picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles
together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can
be fitted together?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train
can continue its journey?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10
are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the
largest possible number of houses in the square?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be
removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to
remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep
truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There
are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where
are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to
make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties
involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows
children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download
the cards or have a go on squared paper.
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each
vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal
face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from
interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the
models together then compare your constructions.
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a
chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the
bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and
ends with 100. Can you build it up?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the
Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking
if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new
rhythm at the same time?
Here are more buildings to picture in your mind's eye. Watch out -
they become quite complicated!
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
How can you paint the faces of these eight cubes so they can be put
together to make a 2 x 2 cube that is green all over AND a 2 x 2
cube that is yellow all over?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that
you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
Take it in turns to place a domino on the grid. One to be placed horizontally and the other vertically. Can you make it impossible for your opponent to play?
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged
L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons
together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
What happens to the area of a square if you double the length of
the sides? Try the same thing with rectangles, diamonds and other
shapes. How do the four smaller ones fit into the larger one?
I've made some cubes and some cubes with holes in. This challenge
invites you to explore the difference in the number of small cubes
I've used. Can you see any patterns?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots
on the 8-point circle?
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
How many different triangles can you make on a circular pegboard
that has nine pegs?
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many
different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back
Eight children each had a cube made from modelling clay. They cut
them into four pieces which were all exactly the same shape and
size. Whose pieces are the same? Can you decide who made each set?
Imagine a wheel with different markings painted on it at regular
intervals. Can you predict the colour of the 18th mark? The 100th
Try to picture these buildings of cubes in your head. Can you make
them to check whether you had imagined them correctly?
You have 4 red and 5 blue counters. How many ways can they be
placed on a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows columns and diagonals
have an even number of red counters?
Imagine a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. If you and a friend drill holes in some
of the small cubes in the ways described, how many will have holes
drilled through them?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or
DVDs? How about using five, then six?
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to
another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number
and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand
face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he
had just finished spelling. How did this work?